A Reliable Cell Camera That Will Always Have Service?!
This year one of my worst nightmares came true. Over the past few years I have been lucky enough to snag more than a few cell cameras through connections or photo/video work in the outdoor industry. In the past this has meant a few wireless cell cameras from such companies as bushnell, moultrie, and stealth camera. This summer about 8-10 of my 14 cell cameras stopped working(some are still fighting but having issues and slowly wearing out) This was from a variety of issues including:
- Turning the camera on, all the lights are signaling all good but will not shut off causing the camera to be hot for a few days and completely deplete the batteries within 2-3 days.
- Eating $20-30 dollars of lithium batteries up in 10 days “looking for service”.
- Infrared flash stopped working for night photos.
- Camera checks in, but will not get triggered by heat or movement at all.
All and all this frustration has cost me likely $200 in batteries, at least a tank of gas running cameras out and back, and of course the cost to start attempting to replace the cameras. As if this game of running cell cameras wasnt expensive enough with data alone already?
Moultrie Mobile Edge Cellular Trail Camera
- The EDGE camera innovates on several core technologies, pushing the cellular trail camera industry forward with new standards.
- Eliminate connectivity and carrier issues with multi-network Auto Connect.
- Save yourself time, money, and hassle with built-in memory, cloud storage, no SD cards, and longer runtime with the Rechargeable Battery – up to 25% longer than 16 alkaline AA batteries.
Buying New Cell Cameras
Nonetheless, this year had me looking hard at which new cell cameras for hunting to buy. Because I hunt in public and my camera locations are very remote, a lot of my strategy requires not having to waste 3-4 hours pulling one or two cards on a piece of public. It also means that service might be far and few between. Based on past experiences I know I needed three things at an absolute minimum for me to even consider them. This is what I look for when buying new cell cameras:
- Good Picture Quality/Motion Sensing Etc.
- Has to Pick Up Great Service (ie Large Antenna, good carriers depend on location)
- Good Customer Service
Now if there is one thing this debacle this year taught me it is customer service goes a long way. Out of the 10 or so cameras that went bad, 8 of them were stealth cam fusions. These cameras had been a rock for at least 2 years going on 3 worth of use and they almost all went belly up within the same month. Don’t call it a conspiracy theory but they all went bad after an update, and let’s face it, old cameras don’t sell new cameras!
I’ve had my hands on just about every camera out there, and by far some of my best experiences and most dependable cameras have been of the Moultrie line. I still currently have 4 working X6000 Cell Cameras. One of the main reasons I trust my hunting intel to them is the fact that even if they do loose service for a bit, as soon as the next connection takes place the missed communication comes back and fills your gallery! Overall Moultrie has a very clean app, great customer service, and the last check mark for me “has to pick up great service” was recently dominated by their latest camera release.
The one thing that did scare me, almost away from the camera completely is the fact that it does not hold an internal removable memory SD Card. Because the camera has such great service area I do not think it will generally have an issue, and I have not had one yet. Unlike my other Moultrie cell cameras, I cannot go back and see if it “missed” any uploads, and I assume with pretty great confidence that once reconnected it would simply upload all missed images. I looked into the manual after buying them and there is no way to access the internal memory, just a way to clear it.
The camera does have a 16 GB internal memory that rewrites the oldest pictures which is pretty genius! Add to it the fact that you have unlimited cloud storage on the moultrie app so you can leave the pictures up without having to clear!
Moultrie EDGE Cell Camera
Moultrie Edge Cell Camera Specs
- Auto Connect / Nationwide Coverage (as opposed to AT&T or Verizon)
- Built-in Memory – no SD Card Required
- Resolution: 33MP
- Detection Range: 80-foot low-glow IR LED flash & detection range
- Field of View: 40 degrees
- HD 720p video with audio
- Trigger Speed: 0.65 seconds
- Three capture modes
- Cellboost antenna included. No assembly required.
- Dimensions: 5.39”H x 4.0”W x 3.54”D
2023 So Far- Are they holding up?
I’m on some good ones, but the reliability of the spots with these Moultrie Edge Cell Cameras are wanting me to buy MORE! Some of my old moultrie’s that are still working after 4 or 5 years lose service for a few days, only to come back and at least uploaded some missing photos. The one or two stealth cam fusion cell cameras are also decent on service but overall their stats with me at this point are not so hot.
The good one I’m going after this year has thus proved extremely difficult to not only see on the hoof, but even catch on camera, only showing himself on absolute perfect winds. One of the big differences I have noticed when it comes to the Edge versus the stealth and even the older moultrie cell cameras is the quietness. The old moultries sounded like a toggle switch…a loud kerplunk when connecting. This is vitally important when it comes to being stealthy against big mature public land bucks that are AVOIDING human pressure. They aren’t missing a beat, and have not giving me any reason to believe they’re not spooking deer or missing any photos.
Now let’s talk about batteries. The camera out there, currently in 30 degree low here in indiana, are running great on a full loadout of amazon brand alkaline batteries. I am running these cameras on the standard data mode with instant upload. Im anxious to see how both the camera and the batteries do compared to the old moultries and old stealth cams I ran last year with lithium.
Overall, I am very pleased with the Moultrie Edge Cell Cameras so far, so much so that I will most definitely come back after the 2023 season to offer a full review as the cold sinks deep within these cameras for nights on end. Look for an update in January!
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Weston Schrank is a hunting industry professional with years of whitetail management and hunting experience in the Midwest. He is currently expanding that experience in the mobile hunting world, and the world of western hunting.